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Farmers' market fire in southern China kills 16

BEIJING--An overnight fire at a farmers' market in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen killed at least 16 people and injured five others, local authorities said Wednesday.

The Shenzhen municipal government said in a statement that the fire broke out at about 1:30 a.m. at the Rongjian Wholesale Produce Market and engulfed an area of 1,000 square meters (1,200 square yards) before being put out at 3 p.m.

It said 16 people were dead and five injured. Those hospitalized were in stable condition, the statement said. The official Xinhua News Agency reported later that the manager of the market was in police custody.

The Shenzhen government did not say what might have caused the fire but said the authorities would perform a thorough, citywide safety check to prevent similar incidents.

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